Alice's Adventures Under Ground', the original manuscript version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

  • Intro
    Museum's Description
    Teacher notes
    • This is a very special object, it shows us the early stages of one of the most famous children's stories in history.

      You've probably heard of Alice in Wonderland, you may have read the book or seen a film adaptation and followed Alice on her adventures through the rabbit hole. Well this is the original manuscript, given to the real life Alice as an early Christmas present on 26th November 1864.

      The story was created by Reverend Charles Dodson, a family friend of Alice Liddell and her sisters. He first told them the story on a trip down to the river in 1862, Alice liked the story so much that she asked him to write it down for her and it is then that Dodson's classic was born.

      You can flick through the pages of this original manuscript over on the British Library's website.

      You might be wondering why we are talking about Charles Dodson and not Lewis Carroll, the named author of the book. The name Lewis Carroll is actually a pseudonym, that is, its a pretend name adopted by Charles Dodson so's to hide his identity when publishing the book.

      Things to think about

      • Lots of authors use pseudonyms, can you think of any other examples?
      • Why do you think an author might want to hide their true identity?
      • Do you think the story can tell us much about the period it was written in?
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